Q: Two busy jobs, active teenagers, and responsibilities at our church all make it difficult for my wife and I to get much time together as a couple. Any ideas?
A: Each day you have 86,400 seconds that you must spend by the stroke of midnight. You have exactly the same amount of time as President Obama, your local trash collector, Diane Sawyer, and the children in the local elementary school. You do not have a time problem, but a priority predicament. Which priorities will win out?
The Scripture reminds us not to be conformed to this world. One translation of Romans 12:2 puts it this way, “Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold.” In “Celebration of Discipline,” Richard Foster wrote, “In contemporary society our Adversary (Satan) majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds. If he can engage us in ‘muchness’ and ‘manyness,’ he will rest satisfied.”
Remember that your marriage comes second … but only to your relationship with Christ. Imagining that your schedule is a garden, think about what needs to be weeded, pruned, rotated and fertilized.
What personal and family activities need to be weeded out or eliminated altogether? Do you really need, for example, to play in that evening basketball league?
Which things need to be pruned or cut back? Perhaps the children do not need to be involved in more than one extracurricular activity per semester.
What activities need to be rotated to another spot on the calendar? Maybe the activity is fine, but the timing is off.
Finally, which marital activities need to be fertilized? A weekly date night, a nightly 15-minute coffee cup conversation on the porch after the family dinner, or a daily walk might be options.